Corona man admits to fraudulently obtaining $6.6 million in COVID relief loans – Press Enterprise

LOS ANGELES — A Corona man pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal criminal charges in a scheme to submit bogus loan applications that netted him more than $6.6 million in COVID relief Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Disaster Loan funds.

Muhammad Noor Ul Ain Atta, 39, pleaded guilty in downtown Los Angeles to federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to his plea agreement, Atta submitted 11 fraudulent PPP loan applications for seven of his front companies. The claims misrepresented the number of employees and average monthly salary expenses of Atta’s businesses, and falsely certified that he would use loan proceeds for authorized business purposes, officials said.

Atta also submitted false tax and payroll documents in support of his loan applications. In total, Atta received more than $6.6 million in loan proceeds, even though none of his companies were legitimate recipients of relief funds at the time. Atta then laundered the loan proceeds into bank accounts in the United States and Pakistan.

The plea agreement details a PPP loan in which Atta requested approximately $1.2 million for a company called Envisioning Future Inc. The loan request incorrectly represented that Envisioning had 73 employees and incorrectly certified that the company would use Loan proceeds for permitted business purposes, including payment of payroll and other business-related expenses. The fraudulent claim filed on April 10, 2020 was supported by falsified federal tax returns and false payroll data, prosecutors said.

About a month later, Envisioning received around $1.2 million in loan proceeds, and the next day Atta wired most of the money to his mother’s bank account. Then, in June 2020, Atta wired $1.3 million — the majority of which came from the PPP Envisioning loan — to a financial institution in Islamabad, Pakistan. According to the plea agreement, the details of the wire transfer included a note stating that the transfer was for “family support”.

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson has scheduled a sentencing hearing for Oct. 17, when Atta faces up to 20 years in prison on each count, prosecutors noted.

Comments are closed.